MOH News

Dr. Al-Arnos: 125 Ambulances and 18 Medical Teams Were Provided to Serve Pilgrims
01 October 2013
The Director-General of Medical Emergency; and the head of Emergency and Field Medicine Committee at the Ministry of Health (MOH), Dr. Tarek Al-Arnos, pointed out that the Ministry has completed all preparations for launching an integrated plan to deal with emergency cases, congestions, floods and fire in the different pilgrimage sites, Allah forbid; stressing that the MOH has launched 50 small and highly-equipped ambulances during this year; bringing the total number to 135 ambulances to serve as intensive care units for emergency cases; that is to be added to other 85 large ambulances distributed to hospitals and health centers in the capital and the holy sites.
During a press conference held today (Tuesday) 25/11/1434H (corresponding to 1/10/2013) at the MOH's Grand Hall, Dr. Al-Arnos expressed his satisfaction with the readiness of the Ministry to provide the best services, noting that the MOH has prepared 18 field medical teams to deal with the emergency cases in the stations of Makkah's holy sites train. In addition, Dr. Al-Arnos underscored that the locations of such medical teams have been determined after coordination with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs as well as the Saudi Red Crescent Authority.
Furthermore, Dr. Al-Arnos stated that the Ministry of Health has recruited 496 physicians, nurses and ambulance technicians to work in such ambulances, noting that all personnel have already started working since 20 Dhul-Qi'da. Dr. Al-Arnos highlighted also that the personnel are taking intensive training courses currently on the ways of dealing with the different cases, accessing to the required sites and dealing with the modern equipments used in serving the pilgrims, i.e. the medical and technical equipments such as the communication equipments in the operating room.
Moreover, Dr. Al-Arnos added that the personnel are conducting fake and hypothesis plans to inspect the application of the suggested plans, pointing out that all the field medical teams will start working at the holy sites starting from 7/12/1434H (corresponding to 12/10/2013) and until 13/12/1434H (corresponding to 18/10/2013) by dealing with any case immediately and providing it with the field services; that is to be added to the transfer of cases, whose health status requires therapeutic intervention, to hospitals.
Within the same vein, Dr. Al-Arnos underscored that as a part of MOH's plans aiming at serving pilgrims, the Ministry has been keen to develop a package of plans and programs, including programs on dealing with the emergency cases in the presence of large numbers of pilgrims in a specific geographic and time scope, making it necessary to be fully prepared. For that reason, the MOH has participated as usual in developing the general emergency plan with the other concerned authorities. Dr. Al-Arnos added that the Ministry has coordinated with the Saudi Red Crescent Authority, so that the Authority transfers the cases, while the Ministry treats the cases in the field.
In the same context, Dr. Al-Arnos pointed out that the Ministry has provided alarm and wireless devices for easy communication to ensure the fast arrival of the ambulances to the locations, pointing out that this procedure is controlled by a highly-equipped operating room working via the Global Positioning System (GPS) and wireless connection to keep track of the ambulances and provide them with the required information in order to arrive at the location in a short time. The operating room checks the road condition and identifies the nearest health facility to receive the cases in need of therapeutic intervention.
Dr. Al-Arnos further mentioned that the Ministry has inspected the emergency plans used in the cases of natural disasters such as rains, floods and fires that may occur during the pilgrimage season, Allah forbid; that is to be added to the emergency plan to be applied in the Grand Mosque (Al-Masjid Al-Haram) and its court, stressing that the field medical teams will be distributed to both sides of the Jamarat Bridge (Jisr al-Jamart) and the main roads leading to it over the period 10-13 /12/1434H (corresponding to 15-18/10/2013). Moreover, Dr. Al-Arnos highlighted that plans were laid down to deal with the cases of heat exhaustion and sunstroke through treating them in the field by means of the ice bags provided in the ambulances.
In addition, Dr. Al-Arnos affirmed that the Ministry is keen to take advantage of all possible means to deal with the critical cases whose health status requires transfer into hospitals or specialized hospitals within the Kingdom, including the aircrafts of medical evacuation, noting that airstrips were already established in Al-Nour Hospital, Arafat General Hospital, Mena Emergency Hospital, and Eastern Arafat Hospital, in addition to the King Abdullah Medical City (KAMC) in the holy capital. Dr. Al-Arnos further underscored that the Ministry aims also to make use of the private airstrip of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority in Mount Arafat to transfer the critical cases by the medical evacuation aircrafts to the hospitals of the holy capital and the other hospitals in the Kingdom.
Speaking of flocking pilgrims to Arafat, Dr. Al-Arnos pointed out that the Ministry is carrying out a plan through which the health status will be monitored, in terms of pilgrims' movement, and the medical services will be provided through field medical teams, and small ambulances (used for moving patients), meanwhile paying particular attention to the Holy Site in Muzdalifah, considering the extraordinarily mass gatherings in this area (from Arafat to Mina passing through Muzdalifah). Dr. Al-Arnos noted also the Ministry currently equips the medical convoys with a number of vehicles to transport inpatients from Madinah, the Holy Capital and the Holy Sites to Mount Arafat in order to complete their pilgrimage.
Finally, Dr. Al-Arnos expected that 17000 cases are to be treated in the field during the period 8-12/12/1434H (corresponding to 13-17/10/2013) through the highly-equipped ambulances and their medical crews that will also transfer the cases, who need specialized therapeutic intervention, into hospitals of the capital and the holy sites.

Last Update : 06 October 2013 08:30 AM
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